Youth are coming out as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, or questioning at younger and younger ages in middle schools and high schools across the country. Far too many of them face pervasive harassment and violence at school because of their actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity.
While youth who are harassed report weaker connections to school and less support from teachers and other adults, research shows students with GSA clubs at their school feel safer and more supported.
GSA clubs can successfully decrease harassment and increase school safety for LGBTQ students. According to the Preventing School Harassment Survey, students in California schools with a GSA club:
- experienced less harassment based on sexual orientation
- experienced less harassment based on gender non-conformity
- were more likely to feel safe at school
- were more likely to feel school is safe for LGBT students and gender non-conforming students
- reported stronger youth resilience factors, such as connections with supportive adults at school